Brit culture devotees DMA’S take their songs and production values to new spheres on their third studio album. Varied and splendidly diverse, ‘The Glow’ sees the Australian group approach their latest project with arresting confidence, ambition and creativity.
Fulfilling their potential with songs that ought to be blasted out in arenas, DMA’S’ emotive energy and gigantic hooks have already seen them gain huge popularity and secure international live outings on a large scale.
Following recording sessions in London, Sydney and LA, and with some inspirational foothold in the early 90s music scene, there’s nodding to Primal Scream and the iconic Madchester scene, but the Sydney based outfit also put their unique stamp on this mesmerising release with conviction.
Dreamy, groovy and led by beats, the three collaborators trick the listener into new anthemic territory. The first track ‘Never Before’ represents the perfect opening and is an accurate overview of what’s to come. Ambient and Screamadelica-like, it offers hazy soundscapes and dream-like grooves, before title track ‘The Glow’ and the canorous etiquette of ‘Silver’ take centre stage.
Seen through a fresh lens, with some inspiration taken from rave music, ‘Life is a Game of Changing’ is an inspired digital throwback to the sonics of Orbital and The Chemical Brothers. A slightly older track, it initially failed to claim its place on one of the two previous albums, despite being a track favourite at live shows, it finally gets the studio polish it deserves.
The balladry of ‘Criminals’ surprises with its sweet vibes and sensibility. While mild melancholy shows face in the shape of the New Order-like atmospherics on ‘Strangers’, where melodic basslines support Tommy O’Dell’s emphatic vocals.
‘Appointment’ offers insight into a more personal point view. While it seems to place the blame on somebody, the resigned and matter-of-factly sentiments also ensure almost every human emotion is incorporated on this record. Even if the darker shades do not represent a recurring feature. A track among a string of earworms, ‘Round & Around’ has an instant spellbinding grip. Full of uplifting, harmonised vocals, its structured sound layers offer comfort and geniality.
Stimulating, surprising and supreme, ‘The Glow’ is a remarkable outcome, a place where guitars receive as warm a reception as sequencing, drum looping and synths. This platform melds technology and beats with accuracy while allowing for alternative pop sensibilities to be enjoyed as much as being a actual means to exploration. Quite simply unmissable.
Words: Susan Hansen
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